Shrimp Étouffée

A Louisiana, Lenten season and seafood lovers favorite, Shrimp Étouffée (eh-too-fey) is a rich thick dish with a light roux as the base.  To prepare this taste of home, we begin with a blonde roux.  Shrimp is always in supply and demand, and it is the star of this dish.

peeled shrimp

The Cajun holy trinity of onions, bell pepper and celery, garlic, a melange of other seasonings and the core staple of the Louisiana kitchen pantry, rice, round out the flavor notes.  The French word étouffée means to smother, and Louisianians have long mastered the art of smothering a plate or bowl of rice with étouffée or gumbo.  It’s the c’est si bon way!

Shrimp Etoufee

Shrimp Étouffée


¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup flour

1 8oz. bottle clam juice

1 cup water

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 ½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 stalk celery, chopped

½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 green onions, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 Tablespoon paprika

2 pounds small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons butter

hot sauce to taste


For the Roux:

Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Stir in flour with fork or wooden spoon and mix well to avoid lumps.  Continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until golden caramel brown.

etouffee roux

It will take approximately 15 minutes to reach desired color and texture. Roux should not have a burnt taste.  If you burn the mixture, begin again.


Once the roux is done the adding begins!  Put roux, water and clam juice in a dutch oven or deep pan over medium high heat.

chopped onions bell pepper parsley

While these are heating, saute the onion, bell pepper, celery (the Cajun holy trinity) and garlic in a tsp. of olive oil in a separate skillet until slightly soft.

Cajun trinity

When softened, add to roux, water and clam juice.  Reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Add bay leaves, Creole seasoning, celery seed, paprika, parsley and ½ of the green onions.

cooking etouffee

Stir to blend and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  Taste to determine if additional salt or other seasonings is needed and add at this time.  Stir well and cook additional 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and lemon juice.  Cover and cook over low heat until shrimp is pink and tender, approximately 5-10 minutes. Étouffée will thicken.  Stir in 2 Tbsp butter.

shrimp etouffee

Serve over cooked white rice and garnish with remaining green onions. Add hot sauce to taste.



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